Mahathir takes oath as Malaysia's 7th PM after election upset

Mr Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, is serving a prison term for the politically-motivated charge of sodomy.

File image of Anwar Ibrahim.

Malaysia is still reeling from the historic victory of 92-year-old Dr. Mahathir Mohamad in Wednesday's GE14 general election, which saw voters turn out in unprecedented numbers to give the blue finger to the scandal-plagued incumbent Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The National Front, which has ruled Malaysia since independent from Britain, obtained only 79 of the 222 parliamentary seats, losing power to Mahathir Mohamad's four-party alliance amid public anger over the 1MDB scandal and rising cost of living.

Malaysian King Muhammad V Of Kelantan.

The party is in the alliance that won power at the hard-fought poll.

Mahathir ruled Malaysia with an iron fist from 1981 to 2003, while he came out of retirement to take on his former protege, Najib Razak, who was prime minister for almost a decade.

He didn't say how long the process will take and whether Mr Anwar could be freed before his sentence ends on June 8.

Mahathir and Anwar were two powerful leaders of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) in the 1990's. He was sent back to jail again in 2015.

"It is going to be a full pardon which of course means that he should not only be pardoned, he should be released immediately when he is pardoned". Mahathir was a dominant political figure, winning five consecutive general elections and fending off a series of rivals for the leadership of UMNO.

Meanwhile, speculation was mounting about Najib's future with a senior member of his party, former sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin, calling for "big changes" to be made without delay.

He had faced accusations of corruption and mismanagement over the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing in connection with 1MDB.

There had been widespread speculation Najib would fly overseas after his shock election defeat this week, amid calls for him to be prosecuted over the sprawling 1MDB corruption scandal. His re-election to the top slot has come as a surprise to many but given his personality and charisma, we have no doubt in saying that the age factor will not stop him to take his country to new heights of economic prosperity.

This includes $700 million found in Najib's bank account and a $23 million pink diamond necklace bought for Najib's wife.

  • Leroy Wright